TACA Airlines was founded in 1931 by New Zealander Lowell Yerex, who opened a string of small airlines throughout Latin America. TACA is the only one still flying, as of 2015. After a brief stint in the United States, the airline returned to El Salvador in 1980.
TACA started out as a freight service, and during the 1930s, it was considered one of the largest freight carriers in the world. The airline regularly transported goods throughout the Americas. Business slowed down, and with the advent of civil unrest in El Salvador, the airline was sold to a United States firm and operated out of New Orleans, Louisiana.
In 1980, the Kriete family, who were minority stockholders in TACA, bought out the shares and moved the airline back to El Salvador. The airline expanded by buying shares and consolidating with other Latin American airlines, including AVIATECA in Guatemala and Lasca in Costa Rica.
In 2009, TACA merged with Avianca, a Colombian airline, but each carrier operated under its own brand. In 2012, the combined airlines joined Star Alliance using the Avianca brand, vastly increasing their exposure on the world stage. As of 2015, passenger service is available to the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and select European destinations.